The caves, located in a limestone outcrop near the Kinabatangan River in the East of Sabah, have been harvested for their edible birds’ nests for centuries. There are two cave “systems” in the area – one producing the black nests, the other producing the much more valuable white nests. As in Niah Caves in Sarawak, swiftlets and bats co-habit the caves. The black nest cave – known as Simud Hitam Cave – is the most accessible cave. Here the roof is 90 metres above the floor of the cave, which is covered in guano which must be metres deep and is home to thousands of the the largest cockroaches you are ever likely to see. There are some 27 species of bats in the caves, the majority of them being wrinkled-lipped bats. The white nest cave – known as Simud Puteh Cave – is less easily accessible. The bird life around the caves is particularly rich – birds which are commonly sighted include Kingfishers, Crested Serpent Eagles and Asian Fairy Bluebirds. The caves can be accessed as an easy side trip from Sukau Rainforest Lodge or the other lodges in the Sukau area.

Photograph on this page is courtesy of Phil Youdale.